About the School of Social Work


Portrait of Dr. Stephen Kapp

Stephen Kapp, Ph.D.

Director, School of Social Work

Email: sakapp@ualr.edu

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the UA Little Rock School of Social Work. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is a metropolitan research university that provides a vibrant setting for our research and service activities. The city offers the program a healthy network of social work mentors and rich social service environments for student internships. Additionally, the School’s research and service efforts are centered in the urban center and throughout the state.

Here a just a few of the appealing features of our program:

  • Our courses are taught in both face-to-face and online formats by dedicated faculty that have well-developed careers as social work scholars, teachers and practitioners.
  • Student advising is provided by faculty that can offer high quality support and guidance for both academic and professional career issues.
  • All students will have the benefit of an agency-based internship which provides them with the opportunity to develop their skills under the supervisor of an experience social worker.
  • Our program is accredited and our graduates are eligible for professional licenses in Arkansas including the Licensed Social Worker (LSW) credential for students with their bachelor’s degree and the Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) for students with their master’s.
  • Our graduates are employed at a high rate with private and public service providers in Arkansas and across the country.
  • Our graduates are welcomed into a professional network of 300+ social workers across the state.

As you become a social worker, you join a profession focused on promoting social justice and directly addressing all forms of oppression. Our curriculum equips our grads with a knowledge base, a core set of values and a concrete skill set to identify and address disparities that impact individuals and families as well as their communities. We encourage you to join us in our mission.


The UA Little Rock School of Social Work was established in 1969 with the creation of the UA Little Rock Graduate Social Work Program, is the oldest and largest social work program in the state, and currently employs 18 faculty and staff. We are housed in the College of Education and Health Professions along with several of UA Little Rock’s most well established and successful professional programs:

  • Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology
  • School of Counseling, Human Performance, and Rehabilitation
  • School of Education
  • Department of Nursing

Our degree programs include an Master of Social Work (MSW) degree with both a clinical concentration and a management and community practice concentration as well as a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. In the fall 2016 semester, the School of Social Work launched an online MSW degree program and in the fall 2017 semester, we launched an online BSW degree program. In partnership with the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, we offer a joint MSW/JD degree. We also offer a minor in gerontology at the undergraduate level and the Graduate Gerontology Certificate which can be completed in conjunction with the MSW degree. We currently have approximately 375 students enrolled in our various degree programs. We work closely with MidSouth, the community service unit of the School of Social Work and the largest grant producing center at UA Little Rock.


The mission of the UA Little Rock School of Social Work is to prepare ethical graduates who accept and appreciate diversity, who empower people and communities to meet the challenges of poverty and social and economic injustice, and who serve oppressed and vulnerable populations at the local, state, national, and international levels.

BSW Mission Statement

The mission of the Bachelor of Social Work Program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is unique: we are the only undergraduate social work program in the state that is located in a metropolitan university as well as in the state’s Capitol. We are committed to the values of diversity, human rights, and social justice. With this value base, we educate our students in the knowledge, values, and skills necessary for generalist practice within our diverse population and prepare students for graduate and life-long learning. (Revised April 2010)

Program Goals
The UA Little Rock BSW program prepares students to:

  1. Engage in generalist practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
  2. Engage in culturally affirming practice with diverse populations.
  3. Engage in practice that is consistent with the Code of Ethics.
  4. Evaluate individual, group, and community practice.
  5. Identify client strengths and challenges.
  6. Utilize the knowledge of human development in a social environment to guide assessment, intervention and evaluation.
  7. Advocate and promote social justice.
  8. Advocate on behalf of policy change.
  9. Contribute to the knowledge base of the profession.
  10. Engage in life long learning, including the pursuit of graduate study.

MSW Mission Statement

The mission of the graduate program of the School of Social Work, building on a strong generalist foundation, is to prepare graduates for leadership roles in clinical practice and in management and community practice within the social welfare system in Arkansas. Our commitment is to discover and disseminate knowledge, embrace diversity, to serve our communities and organizations, and to eliminate the barriers that oppressed and vulnerable people face.

Towards this mission, MSW program faculty prepare graduates not only for general social work practice, but also one of two specialized concentrations; Advanced Direct Practice (clinical) work or Management and Community Practice.

Program Goals
Established by the Council on Social Work Education in 2007, the following ten competencies pertain to both the foundation and advanced (concentration) curriculum. By the end of their concentration year, students in the MSW program are expected to show proficiency in each of the following competencies:

  1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
  2. Apply social work ethical principals to guide professional practice.
  3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
  4. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
  5. Advance human rights and social justice and economic justice.
  6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
  7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
  8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
  9. Respond to contexts that shape practice.
  10. Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Each of the ten program competencies includes a unique set of “practice behaviors” that are composed of knowledge, values, and skills. Each competency and its related practice behaviors are fully embedded throughout the foundation and advanced curriculum in a carefully designed manner so that students have ample opportunity to fully master them. This process includes learning materials in the classroom and applying that knowledge and skill during internship experiences. Details about the competencies, practice behaviors, and how they related to accreditation of social work programs may be found on the Council on Social Work Education website.